Muslim leaders have reacted to the attack in Finsbury Park, north London, with shock, condemnation and calls for security at mosques to be stepped up. Many also said the backdrop of the attack was rising Islamophobia.
Support also came from Christian, Jewish and Sikh leaders.
The Muslim Council of Britain condemned the attack near the Muslim Welfare House. Harun Khan, the MCB’s secretary general, said: “It appears from eyewitness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia. Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia, and this is the most violent manifestation to date.
“Given we are approaching the end of the month of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid, with many Muslims going to local mosques, we expect the authorities to increase security outside mosques as a matter of urgency.”
Muslim communities wanted “transformative action … to tackle not only this incident but the hugely worrying growth in Islamophobia”, he added.
The Muslim Association of Britain said it unreservedly condemned “this evil terror attack” and called on police to increase security in mosques.
It demanded politicians “treat this major incident no less than a terrorist attack. We call on the government to do more to tackle this hateful evil ideology which has spread over these past years and resulted in an increase of Islamophobic attacks and division of our society, as well as spreading of hate.”